Salad with tomatoes and apple

Ways to Incorporate More Salads into Your Low-Carb Diet

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A salad is my favorite go-to option for a low-carb meal. However, I’ve had to change some of my grocery shopping and food prep patterns to make salad a more regular choice for my every day lunch or dinner. The biggest challenges I’ve had are:

  • Lettuce, spinach, and other salad greens don’t last a long time in the fridge, and I don’t grocery shop frequently enough.
  • It takes time to prep some of the ingredients, and I don’t always have have a lot of time to make my lunch.

It’s all too easy to grab something quick but less healthful — but with some mindful choices and careful planning, I’ve been able to incorporate more salads into my life, and I think you can too!

My current solutions are:

  • Add on an additional mid-week shopping trip to a nearby grocery store to just pick up the lettuce or spinach.
  • Prepare some ingredients ahead of time: for example, I boil the eggs, or cook the chicken or salmon ahead of time.

Salads are a Great Low Carb Choice

When it comes to salads I prepare, I often find that the carbohydrate count is exceptionally low. Usually, I only need to consider the carb content of the salad dressing and the tomato, which typically amounts to less than 15 grams. Opting for a salad is a smart choice for individuals managing diabetes since it has minimal impact on blood sugar levels. Moreover, salads are packed full of nutritious ingredients that have other health benefits.

If you’re wondering how to incorporate more salads into your meals, start by utilizing the ingredients you already have on hand. Take a look in your pantry and refrigerator, and you’ll likely find a variety of options to create a delicious salad.

Options for Adding Protein to a Salad

Salad typically starts with a bed of greens with some vegetables, but the way to really turn it into a satisfying meal is to add a source of protein. Some examples:

  • Hard boiled egg
  • Grilled chicken
  • Salmon
  • Beans
  • Tofu
  • Pecans, Walnuts, or other nuts
  • Hamburger or seasoned Ground Beef
  • Ham
  • Cheese
  • Shrimp

Other Ideas for Salad Ingredients

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Pickles
  • Avocado
  • Carrots

Add on these sweet items, in small amounts

These additional items can make a salad extra delicious, but be sure to consider the carb count!

  • Dried Cranberries
  • Apple pieces
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Pineapple

Salad Ideas

I don’t always follow a recipe… But recipes can help with inspiration!

About the Author

Lin May has a decade of experience living with LADA diabetes and is the author of Success with LADA Diabetes: Achieving Optimal Health with Diet, Exercise, and Insulin. She is dedicated to helping others learn about diabetes.


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